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PhD on the Mechanobiology of the Cardiac-Infarct Border Zone

PhD on the Mechanobiology of the Cardiac-Infarct Border Zone

Decoupling the mechanobiology of order and stiffness in 2D mimics of the infarcted heart.
Irène Curie Fellowship
Biomedical Engineering
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Job description

The Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e) is seeking an inspired, ambitious and passionate PhD candidate to investigate the separate and combined effects of the stroma’s order and stiffness on the mechanobiology of 2D multicellular systems mimicking the regions of the infarcted heart in vitro, with specific focus on the so-called border zone. As the successful candidate, research that you will carry out with us will be part of wider efforts aiming at restoring anisotropy in infarcted cardiac tissues for in situ regenerative medicine of the heart.

You will conduct in vitro and in silico experimentation to understand the mechanical and biological basis of the infarct border-zone, an area of the infarcted heart between the healthy and damaged myocardium that is instrumental to the progression of the disease. Your investigations will specifically aim at understanding the interplay between structural organisation and cardiac cell function in 2D models that mimic the heterogeneity of the disorganised infarcted myocardium at the multicellular level. Your research will resort to correlative experimental methods that may combine a selection of techniques including:
i) (Visco)Elastic Traction Force Microscopy for the quantification of cellular forces at the interface with (Visco)Elastic matrix substrates;
ii) Laser Ablation for the quantification at the intercellular interface;
iii) Advanced Image Analyses for the quantification of cell morphology and kinematics;
iv) Microfabrication and Microprinting for the engineering and functionalisation of 2D cellular scaffolds; and,
v) Molecular and Cell Biology techniques for the manipulation of cellular genotype and phenotype.

You will be embedded in the STEM group (Soft Tissue Engineering and Mechanobiology) and will specifically investigate at the interface of the teams led by Dr. Vito Conte (Synthetic Morphogenesis) and Prof. Carlijn Bouten (Cell-Matrix Interactions for Cardiovascular Tissue Regeneration). By building on experimental protocols previously established in the STEM group, you will develop new methodological approaches for the handling of novel experimental setups currently unavailable in the field. You are expected to do scientific research in the field described above, write a doctoral thesis, and publish research results in scientific journals. A small part of your doctoral position will involve teaching in courses as well as the supervision of students at the bachelor’s and master’s levels offered by the group. Also, an educational and professional development program will be offered to you.

Job requirements

  • Academic education background in Bioengineering or Nanomedicine or Biotechnology or Biophysics or equivalent. Applications from exceptionally talented candidates with a background in other Engineering and Physics oriented disciplines who are willing to translate their skills to the field of applied Biology will also be considered on a punctual basis. Previous experience with primary cells or stem cells as well as competencies in computer-based quantification/analysis/modelling (Matlab or similar) will be considered as a relevant added value.
  • Ability to effectively communicate scientific ideas, foster collaborations and have a capability for independent thinking.
  • Ability to work independently within a dynamic team and be proficient in written and spoken English.
  • Ability to work in an interdisciplinary team and interested in collaborating with partners from the clinics and industry (if applicable/necessary).
  • A research-oriented attitude.
  • Motivated to develop your teaching skills and coach students.
  • Fluent in spoken and written English (C1 level).

Conditions of employment

You will have a meaningful job in a dynamic and ambitious university, in an interdisciplinary setting and within an international network. You will work on a beautiful, green campus within walking distance of the central train station. In addition, we will offer you:

  • Full-time employment for four years, with an intermediate evaluation (go/no-go) after nine months. You will spend 10% of your employment on teaching and education tasks.
  • Salary and benefits (such as a pension scheme, paid pregnancy and maternity leave, partially paid parental leave) in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities, scale P (min. €2.541,- max. € 3.247,-).
  • A year-end bonus of 8.3% and annual vacation pay of 8%.
  • High-quality training programs and other support to grow into a self-aware, autonomous scientific researcher. At TU/e we will challenge you to take charge of your own learning process.
  • An excellent technical infrastructure, on-campus children's day care and sports facilities.
  • An allowance for commuting, working from home and internet costs.
  • A Staff Immigration Team and a tax compensation scheme (the 30% facility) for international candidates.

Information and application

About us

Eindhoven University of Technology is an internationally top-ranking university in the Netherlands that combines scientific curiosity with a hands-on attitude. Our spirit of collaboration translates into an open culture and a top-five position in collaborating with advanced industries. Fundamental knowledge enables us to design solutions for the highly complex problems of today and tomorrow.

Curious to hear more about what it’s like as a PhD candidate at TU/e? Please view these promotional videos about our university as well as what is like to be a PhD with us and what to expect (these hyperlinks will forward you to YouTube).


Do you recognize yourself in this profile and would you like to know more?
Please contact dr V. Conte, e-mail: v.conte[at]

Visit our websites for more information about the application process, the conditions of employment, the Biomedical Engineering department, the STEM group, Dr Vito Conte and Prof Carlijn Bouten.

Are you inspired and would like to know more about working at TU/e? Please visit our career page.


The application should include the following:

  • Cover letter in which you describe your motivation and qualifications for the position.
  • Curriculum vitae, including a list of your publications and the contact information of three references.
  • University transcripts including the courses that you took (with corresponding marks) during your bachelor’s and master’s degrees.

The vacancy will remain open until the position is filled.